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Norico Cuevas' Thai Back Massage progress report
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Norico Cuevas
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July 31, 2019 - 1:27 am
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Module 1

It was a good review of scoliosis, kyphosis and lordosis, and the connection between iliac bones and twisted spine.

Most of the reasons why my clients want massage is back pain. Smart phones, PC,  cooking, and giving massages for a long time...there are many factors that contributes the pain. I always ask what their job is. And most of the time, they use computer for their work. Even with the angled screen, they still get problems. I was told to advise clients to do smart phones with yoga Sphinx pause. 

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Norico Cuevas
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July 31, 2019 - 2:08 am
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Module 2

Thai massage can correct energy flow....

One time, I had a client who ever had had Thai massage before, but other type of massages.

After the session, she commented that

it was absolutely different experience. For other type of massage, when the massage is done, she would feel relaxed, like melting relax mode. But after the Thai massage, she got very energized, and her body felt very light. She became my regular client, and so did her daughter later on.

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Norico Cuevas
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August 5, 2019 - 7:04 pm
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Module 3

Many people have come to get massage for upper back pain. Most of them spend a lot of time on computer. And mothers/ wives spend a lot of time cooking and cleaning have upper back pain, also, including me. And most of people do not notice how stiff their pecs are until I start stretch them.  

Thai massage is effective because I can press the tight spots in upper back while stretching the pec at the same time.

I sometimes have women whose breasts are very big. Should I place pillow underneath their stomach so that they have more room in the chest area? For those people , their stomach is usually big, too. There is massage table that has hole for the beats, but for Thai massage,  I just have to play with pillows to accommodate those people, or do side lying massage....

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Norico Cuevas
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August 5, 2019 - 7:54 pm
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Module 4

 

When you do one side, the client should face the other side ( feels more natural), but hate to bother her/him.

This technique has been successful especially older clients.  There was one client, though, middle age, well built, though,, the rocking motion was not very effective (especially circular motion) as his body does not move with the motion. When the client is big and heavy and muscular, direct linear pressure with foot works the best from my experience. If there is any better way to do circular motion on such a client, i would like to know.

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Norico Cuevas
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August 5, 2019 - 8:40 pm
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Module 5

Being a massage therapist is very rewarding, and at the same time, it is very hard. We do not use hand and fingers only at work, when we come home, our hands still have to work hard. Some need to cook for their families, some have to fix this and that around the house, using hammers. I agree that we really need to focus on taking care of our tools. Some clients request too much pressure, and make us feel like we are not good if we cannot meet their request. I learned to say NO to the request to protect my fingers and I use T-bar instead. Do you think using T-bars for Thai massage is a good option?

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Shama Kern
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August 5, 2019 - 10:11 pm
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Welcome to the Thai Back Massage certification program. It seems that you have it all figured out now, but still I always post a link to our certification checklist in the beginning of each thread to make sure that it is all correctly organized:

Certification checklist

What to do about the prone position, especially when clients have big breasts or big bellies? We can help with cushions, but if the belly is too big, then it might just not be as comfortable for the client. The best solution I have found is what you can see in the video in this article:

Simulated Face Cradle In Thai Massage

Regarding the T-bars - I don't like them. They don't feel so good. Instead I prefer to use my elbows, knees and feet, which you will learn in this course. Also I sometimes use a 'Massage Hammer' which works quite well for me. You can also see in this video what this is all about:

Tools In Thai Massage

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Norico Cuevas
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August 12, 2019 - 6:47 am
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Module 6

Glute work is one of my favorite work both to give and receive. I quite often have male clients who keeps their boxer type underwears on, and cannot massage their glutes with oil. For those people, these techniques are good alternative. 

Also, going over their body without stopping rocking motion is something new to me. Should I apply it to other parts of back massage, or is it usually for glutes only?

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Shama Kern
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August 13, 2019 - 1:32 am
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This fluidity and the seamless transitions apply to the entire back and to other areas of the body as well, whenever possible.

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Norico Cuevas
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August 24, 2019 - 7:18 pm
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Module 7

I always use similar techniques from this module. So, it was great to reenforce the technique. 

I found that a lot of middle aged people and up have tightness in this area including me. I understand that as you get older, the cushion in joints decrease, and muscles have more direct impact. I was thinking about doing some research about shoes with good cushions to help these symptoms. And also some Yoga movements.

When a client feels a lot of pain ( I mean extreme pain comes from tightness), do not simply avoid touching the area, but use very gentle pressure and massage (rocking is the best),,,,is my understating correct?? 

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Shama Kern
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August 25, 2019 - 1:01 am
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Actually shoes with a lot of cushioning don't necessarily help because they can deprive the feet of their natural function - using their muscles to adjust to ground conditions and maintaining the balance of the body. "Supportive" shoes can become crutches instead of solutions. That's a whole separate topic which I have covered in great detail in our Thai Foot Massage course, including what problems the wrong shoes can cause and how to remedy that.

Your understanding is correct - when you encounter very sensitive areas, you lighten your pressure and/or switch to rocking techniques which are gentler by nature.

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Norico Cuevas
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November 19, 2019 - 8:19 pm
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Module 8

The whole flow of the gluteus area looks very calming. I like the fact that while i use my knee to sink in the gluteus max, I can also work on the clients opposite leg's ham area. Is the technique actually used in thai massage in Thaniland? 

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Norico Cuevas
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November 19, 2019 - 8:45 pm
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Module 9

As I get to know more about what Thai massage is, there is always a conflict these days. I understand that what Thai massage makes special is that it is the massage to correct energy flow of the body.  (and of course, stretching and compressing), but I hardly ever hear the word "energy " when I get a Thai massage. Now I can guess that if there is muscle tightness, that is where the energy is blocked. Yet I still cannot see clearly if the therapists work on the energy point/energy flow, or they just work on tightness in the muscle, which makes it look like a regular massage that uses physical technique only... I hope I can make sense in my writing. I have seen some video that a therapist press on energy point on sen lines, which looks very different from what I see in this back massage video. How do you see the energy blockage or how do you incorporate energy points on sen lines?

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Shama Kern
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November 19, 2019 - 10:14 pm
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Regarding your question if this technique is actually used in Thailand - there are many techniques in this course which are not commonly used in Thailand. There are also many techniques which are modified or refined or improved compared to the way how they are typically taught. And the other factor is that in Thailand many therapists and teachers have developed their own style, so there is not really one homogeneous Thai Massage style in Thailand. Someone somewhere is probably using this techniques, and many or most others may not. 

Regarding your question about energy - the therapists work on the muscles and on the energy lines. Sometimes they do this separately, and sometimes this is combined into one thing.

Here are some resources which explain this more in-depth:

Thai Massage Energy Line Work

Thai Massage Sen Line Therapy

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Norico Cuevas
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November 20, 2019 - 4:27 am
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Module 10

This module kind of answered my question from Module 9. So,,,, it means that even with the western massage technique, you would be working on the energy line, so, means open the energy line. The difference is the way we massage the back. In thai massage, we cannot apply a long stroke, as in swedish massage. But for the other modality, we do use very similar technique as it shown in this course. So, what makes thai massage different is,,,, stretch...?

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Norico Cuevas
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November 20, 2019 - 4:56 am
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Module 11

This is my favorite module so far. I like using my arms. it feels good for the recipient, and also good way to save thumbs and wrists.  

So, in this module, it covers sen1 and sen2 on the back, I thought there is sen3,,,

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Shama Kern
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November 20, 2019 - 9:26 pm
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No, it's not just the stretching that makes Thai Massage different.

Here are two articles that explains this more in detail:

The Elements Which Make Thai Massage Unique

8 Factors Which Make Thai Massage Unique

Regarding the sen lines - in theory there are hundreds of them, but in actual practice we only work with a few of the major ones. The exact number depends on the school. They don't all agree on the exact number.

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Norico Cuevas
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November 21, 2019 - 4:05 am
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I read those articles about SEN LINE and ENERGY LINE WORK. It was eye opening article for me! I have been always wonder about those  sen lines and points, which we hear all the time in SHIATSU massage in japan. There are books about where those points are located, and you can actually learn where exactly, or how to measure them. It is a similar massage that uses line (or canal) but it is different!

Massage is a living thing,,,, it evolves !! I like it!

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Norico Cuevas
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November 22, 2019 - 9:20 am
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Module 12

 

I have not had a chance to work on very heavy client yet, but even with a normal size clients, they a lot of times want very firm pressure that I think using knee and feet would help. Using a pillow like that is also a new finding for me. I just think that for a gibber person, I man need two pillow!

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Shama Kern
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November 22, 2019 - 10:54 am
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It's always good to have a selection of pillows around to support the client in various positions. It's also a good idea to have a light blanket handy in case a client gets cold.

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Norico Cuevas
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November 23, 2019 - 12:10 am
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Module 13

Now I see the side lying position work,,, that I was thinking that if a client is very obese, s/he would not feel comfortable with prone position, even with pillows. And I did work on obese client having her lye down (it was a therapeutic massage), and i had her place her body almost flat. This little change of the position made a lot of difference for both me and the client. After all, if i keep working on the same client over and over again, having client have a different position makes her/him feel like i really care, (and I do) and the slight change of the position often have a different feeling and different effect. Also, i think it is better to BE ABLE TO give a client an option what position s/he would like. The one drawback of side lying position in this case is, it may not work for someone who has bone pain. Because as yours down erector muscle, you would give a stress to the spine. 

A client always likes 3D massage! 

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